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Don't Shop/ Give/Vote/Demand Change

Give on Tuesdays, Don't Shop on Tuesdays

As decorations in department stores, and websites across America will tell you, we’ve entered the “holiday season,” a time full of sales and spending, a time to buy, Buy, BUY! A frenzy of economic excess, in which advertisements will insist that if you only buy this, that or the other thing, your friends and families’ holidays will be magical. For what’s more American, it’s suggested, than spending your way to happiness over the holidays? We know, however, that despite what the commercials and billboards might claim, happiness isn’t found in a store. With high inflation, and the economy teetering on a sustained downturn, the push to spend makes this the most stressful, rather than joyful, time of the year for many Americans. Today, however, is different, or at least it can be, today is giving Tuesday. Newer participants to #DSOT and the united protest movement might mistakenly believe that #DSOT and #GivingTuesday are working at cross purposes, a closer look reveals a shared ethos. Giving Tuesday promotes the concept of "generosity not as a benevolence that the haves show to the have-nots but rather an expression of mutuality, solidarity, and reciprocity." It’s easy to be cynical, but if we take Giving Tuesday seriously, it reminds us that other more fulfilling and nourishing relationships are possible, ones that empower and enrich people, building communities, instead of growing alienation and isolation. In our highly commercialized, market culture, where everything in our society, including our politics, is for sale, it can be hard to see things outside the realm of consumption, to other ways of being and relating to each other. Sometimes, we are even fooled into thinking there is no other option than this “free market,” predatory world. Giving Tuesday and Don’t Shop on Tuesdays are weekly reminders and active demonstrations that a different, kinder, and more just world is possible. That world doesn’t come by magic or fall into our laps. It’s not thing that can be given to us from on high from “benevolent” billionaires, or corporate overlords. Our world is already ruled by these forces, and they’ve shown that all they can imagine is world of ruthless competition, where might makes right. To build a different world, one in which our government and society reflect the reciprocity and solidarity embodied by giving Tuesday, will take practice, patience, and power. So this Tuesday, practice giving, and then join us every week in growing solidarity, as we grow our power and demonstrate a new way, beyond consumption, towards a fairer more representative world. #DSOT #UPM

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